Macon Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Should I Hire A Macon Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
These days, people of all ages have discovered bicycling. It is excellent exercise, eco-friendly and fun. Macon is one of many communities in Georgia encouraging bicycling with miles of dedicated bike lanes, plentiful public bike racks, and even a repair station. However, despite the pleasures of biking, there are always risks.
Although bicyclists and pedestrians account for less than one percent of those involved in motor vehicle crashes, they account for 17 percent of all traffic fatalities. Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities have increased significantly in recent years, and bicycle fatalities increased by 16 percent. For more information, reach out to a Macon bicycle accident lawyer.
If one of these bicycle accidents injured you or someone you love, the experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers can review your case and explain your legal options.
The Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers legal team has served Atlanta and the surrounding communities for 40 years. Led by attorney Dan Saxton, our firm takes a deep and caring interest in each client. For decades we have zealously represented people from all walks of life, including those in the underserved community. We have fought for and attained hundreds of thousands of dollars for accident victims. For example, our results include a settlement for $862,500 settlement resulting from a failure to yield crash and a $775,000 settlement from a rear-end collision that caused serious back injuries.
The Basics of Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
As with all lawsuits, determining liability depends on the facts of each accident. Evidence such as police reports and witness testimony helps build a strong case. The first question is whether someone’s negligence caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
The injured person must prove the elements of negligence, which are:
- The existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff
- Defendant’s breach of that duty
- Plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury
- Proof that the defendant’s breach caused the injury
We can do all of that for you and more.
What Damages Might I Recover?
A wide variety of factors may affect compensation. At Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, we can work to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
The court may award you:
- All medical costs arising from the accident. This may include ambulance costs, emergency room care, tests, doctor visits, hospital care, surgery, rehabilitation, adaptive devices, and ongoing care
- Compensation for lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for the loss of future earning capacity if the condition is permanent
- Compensation for future medical treatment, surgeries, or rehabilitative care
- Compensation for permanent injuries and losses
- Bills for psychological or psychiatric treatment arising from the accident
- Deprivation of the loss of family relationships
- Wrongful death
Steps To Take Following A Crash
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, always obtain medical care as soon as possible. Remember that some injuries do not become apparent until later, and delaying treatment could have serious consequences.
If possible, carry a cell phone, some form of identification, or emergency contact information.
- Call the police. Sometimes the driver may try to persuade you that this is unnecessary, but a police report may be important to your claim.
- Take contact information for insurance companies or others involved in the accident. Note names and contact information for any witnesses.
- Take photos of any damage or injuries and the accident scene, including traffic signs, signals, and road hazards.
- Do not apologize or accept blame. Do post comments or pictures about your accident on social media, as these may damage future legal action.
- Do not sign documents or speak with an insurance representative until you consult our lawyers. Contact the dedicated attorneys at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers to help protect your legal rights.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents?
A combination of factors often leads to a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about a third of bicycle accident victims are injured when struck by a car. Many accidents involve negligent driving. For example, insufficient space between the motor vehicle and the bicycle can lead to a dangerous collision. Also, accidents in which a car rear-ends a bike are common, particularly at stop signs or signals.
Other risks of bicyclists sharing the road with motorists include:
- Drivers who change lanes without signaling or checking blind spots
- Drivers who fail to check for bicyclists in the bike lane before parking the car
- Cars turning right across the bicyclist’s lane
- A motorist turns left on a non-dedicated left-turn intersection
- Any vehicle that fails to stop or yield when necessary
- Passing on the right
Some common causes of bicycle accidents are:
- Driver inattention. There are so many distractions for both drivers and bicyclists. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it has become a significant cause of accidents. Each day eight people die, and 1,161 people are injured because of distracted drivers. Statistics show that a crash is about three times more likely if the driver is talking on the phone while driving. Texting is even worse. The collision rate is 23 times more likely if the driver is texting while behind the wheel. However, bicyclists may be wearing headphones or using hands-free devices while riding. Therefore, they may also not be paying attention to traffic or hazards.
- Failure to yield. About 27 percent of crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles happen at intersections. In some cases, drivers do not realize that they must yield to bicyclists when sharing the road. However, driving aggressively or too fast can also cause failure to yield accidents. Frequently a driver attempts a left turn and hits an approaching bicyclist.
- Speeding. The speed at which a vehicle travels plays a critical role in bicyclist safety. Speeding vehicles require more stopping time, and the drivers are less likely to avoid potential collisions. This is a risk even in areas with low-speed speed limits.
- Dangerous road conditions. Hazardous roads are especially risky for bicyclists, partly because a two-wheeled bike is less stable than a four-wheeled vehicle. Therefore, unexpected changes in the road surface, such as sinkholes, loose gravel, sewer, grates, or uneven road surfaces, may lead to an accident. Thirteen percent of bike accident injuries result from poor road or bike lane conditions. If a dangerous road causes an accident, the governmental entity in charge of road maintenance may be liable.
- Riding at night. Over half of all bicycle accidents occur at night. Bicycles are smaller and less visible than motor vehicles. Taking precautions such as proper lights, reflectors, and reflective clothing can reduce the risk of an accident.
- Dooring. Many bicycle accidents happen on crowded urban streets. Bicyclists may have to ride close to parked cars. If a driver does not check for oncoming traffic, they may open the car door and hit the cyclist, known as “dooring.”
- Impaired driving. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol hampers driving skills, causing impaired judgment and slower reaction time. Statistics show that alcohol and drug use cause one-third of all motor vehicle-related fatalities.
- Bad weather. Visibility affects accident risk, so bad weather makes bicyclists more challenging to see. Also, a bike’s thin tires can make traction harder in rain, snow, or ice.
Common Injuries Suffered In A Bicycle Accident
More motor vehicles have safety features designed to protect drivers and passengers. However, bicyclists are vulnerable, even if they are wearing helmets or other protective gear.
Therefore, they often suffer severe or even fatal injuries in a crash.
- Head and brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries(TBIs) and other head and brain injuries are common in bicycle accidents. Although helmets can undoubtedly reduce the risk of brain injuries, they do not offer complete protection against every type of impact.
- Internal injuries. Bicyclists can suffer internal injuries in a crash, such as kidney damage, a ruptured spleen, or lacerated liver. Such injuries may happen when the rider hits the handlebar or during a “dooring” accident. Often, internal bleeding is not readily apparent. However, left untreated, it can be serious.
- Neck and back injuries. During a bike crash, the injured person’s neck may snap violently back and forth, causing an issue commonly known as whiplash. A fall or collision can cause injuries to the rider’s back and shoulders. Damage to the spinal cord can leave an injured bicyclist permanently disabled.
- Soft tissue injuries. These injuries to ligaments, tendons, or muscles often occur in joints such as ankles, wrists, elbows, and the pelvis.
- Fractures. Dealing with broken bones is usually painful and troublesome. Treating complicated fractures may require surgery or rehabilitative therapy.
- Face, eye, and dental injuries. At least 14 bones in the face can be severely damaged in a bicycle crash.
What Are The Responsibilities Of Motor Vehicle Drivers?
Individuals operating motor vehicles have to drive safely and responsibly. They must pay close attention and give the bicyclist the same care and caution as they would other vehicles. Drivers should always check their mirrors and blind spots and watch for bicyclists, who are usually riding on the right side of the lane.
Bike lanes are a part of the road that uses markings or signs that designate it for the use of persons riding bikes only and not for motor vehicle use.
- When preparing to turn left, drivers must yield to oncoming bicyclists.
- Passing is especially risky when a car and bicycle are sharing the road. If a motor vehicle driver is overtaking a bicycle, the driver must keep at least 3 feet of space between them and the bike.
- Motorists should be alert to road hazards such as grates or potholes. Bicyclists may need to steer around them or may hit them and have an accident.
- Motorists should be especially cautious when there are children on bicycles.
- Driving aggressively and threatening the safety of a bicyclist is a misdemeanor under Georgia law.
What Is The Deadline For Filing A Claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Georgia, including those involving bicycle accidents, is two years. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Time limits may differ when the injured party is a minor or if the claim involves the government. Discuss the matter with us at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers as soon as possible.
About Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers
Bicycles are great fun and convenient transportation, but bicycle accidents can have tragic consequences. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, consult the experienced, compassionate attorneys at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers. For more information or to arrange a free consultation, contact us online or call (478) 226-4148.
Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. – Macon Office
461 3rd St ste 6,
Macon, GA 31201
Get Aggressive Legal Help Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Atlanta, you need to take action now. To schedule your free case evaluation, please contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. today by calling 404-890-5631.